Coast Guard medevacs injured men from vessel near Cold Bay, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska NewsANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard medevaced two men with severe burns from the motor vessel Astoria Bay near Cold Bay, Wednesday night.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, forward deployed to Cold Bay, conducted the hoists approximately 207 miles southwest of Cold Bay and flew the men to the Cold Bay Clinic for subsequent transport to the Seattle Burn Center by commercial medevac services.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau became aware of the men’s injuries Tuesday when the crew of the Astoria Bay reported the men were injured while working on the vessel’s boiler system. The watchstanders consulted the duty flight surgeon who recommended the Astoria Bay monitor the men’s conditions and alter course to Dutch Harbor. The helicopter crew was launched to conduct the medevac when the men’s condition worsened.

“Coast Guard crews forward deploy to locations like Cold Bay throughout the year to provide increased coverage and service to mariners in Alaska,” said Lt. Cmdr. Doug Watson of the Coast Guard 17th District response management department. “The FOL in Cold Bay allows our flight crews to respond much faster to cases in Western Alaska by shortening distance they are required to travel.”

The forward deployed crews receive logistical support from Air Station Kodiak-based HC-130 airplane crews throughout their deployment. The FOLs are activated and staffed during known periods of increased regional maritime activity.

Weather conditions at the time of the medevac were reportedly 29-mph winds out of the southeast with 10-foot seas and rain showers. The Astoria Bay is a 609-foot Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier on a voyage from Port Angeles, Wash., to Tianjin, China.

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